Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder were on the cusp of a championship appearance after they went up 3-1 against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. We all know what happened next, and now the impending free agent has his eyes set on competing in the Rio Olympics.
At the release of his latest shoe, the KD9, Durant was asking about free agency and spun an Olympic twist on it, “I just want to play the game again. I’m excited to the play the game again. Olympics has given me the opportunity. I know how important this time is.” Anthony Slater has the full transcript of the quote.
The Unites States has a ton of their best stars skipping the Olympics, but a majority are doing it because of injury and not because of the Zika Virus. Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, John Wall, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge all decided to step out due to some ailments. If he’s going to participate — which it sounds like he is — Durant would be in line to be the best player on the USA squad.
He’s fresh off one of his best seasons as a pro where he averaged 28.2 points on 50.5% shooting, 8.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists and showed no ill effects from the foot injury he suffered back during the 2014-15 season.
The Durantula’s had a ton of run with USA basketball over the years, including the 2012 Olympics where they won gold, and the 2010 FIBA World Cup where they also won gold.
James is fresh off his third championship that was won in a grueling seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors, and he has yet to inform USAB formally about his plans but is apparently “leaning” toward not playing.
It’s totally understandable for LeBron to opt of playing in what would be his fourth Olympic Games. He already has two gold medals (2008, 2012), and one bronze (2004) from his time with the national team and the added strain on his body isn’t totally necessary.
LeBron’s in great shape for a 31-year-old, but the conclusion of his 13th NBA season could lead him to rest all summer and be fresh for whatever team he plays for this fall.